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Breathlessness after slight exertion. Taking Bactrim for Serratia. How contagious am I?

Hi, Im a 44 year old female and an RN. My M/C/S for sputum came back with Serratia Marcescens. T38 for 2/52, had oral Doxycilne and then Augmentin . Now just low grade T. CXR srteaky changes in R) ML, no consolidation. I have coughing spells; barky, seal like cough relived by ventolin . The serratia was resistant to most but sensitive to Bactrum which I have started on. I get short of breath by doing everyday activities after a while. I have a history of there viral bronchitis episodes over last 7-8 years in increasing frequency. How contagious am I and what can I do the get rid of this?
Asked On : Thu, 8 Nov 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  261
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  User's Response
Thanks for posting your query.
Considering the details you have provided its most likely that you are suffering from a nosocomial (hospital acquired )infection with serrratia marcescens. The fact that damp moist conditions predispose to such infections and that you are a diver further increase your susceptibility .These bacteria are known to cause pneumonia which are resistant to many antibiotics and if your culture is sensitive to bactrim then your treatment started is appropriate . Though there is no consolidation seen I would consider it a lower respiratory tract infection with serrratia rather than an incidental finding .
The infection can spread through many routes ( airborne , gastrointestinal etc ) however hand to hand transmission from healthcare workers is the major cause for its spread . Also spread is more likely before the symptoms have developed . As of now you can practice good hand hygiene and universal precautions to prevent the spread of the infection.
To get it completely cured you might need additional parenteral antibiotic like amikacin if its susceptible .
Your doctor might repeat your investigations to ensure eradication of the bacteria . It's advisable to avoid diving till you recover completely .
Hope I have answered your query.
I'll be available for any follow up queries.
Answered: Sat, 10 Nov 2012
Disclaimer: These answers are for your information only and not intended to replace your relationship with your treating physician.
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